Types of fire extinguishers and their uses. - Medswift
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Types of fire extinguishers and their uses.

There are different types of Fire extinguishers that come in different types each suitable for different classes of fire.

When you running a business, you are responsible for the safety of all your employees and guests. This means being prepared for accidents and emergencies such as a fire. You may believe that you are prepared if you have a fire extinguisher on-site, but that may only be a part of safety precautions.

Before discussing the types of fire extinguishers let us first dive into the different classes of fire. The fire risk in your business premises will determine which fire extinguisher types you need. You will also need to have the right weight and size of the fire extinguisher to fully comply with workplace safety regulations.

When buying fire extinguishers, it is important to conduct a fire audit to establish the potential fire risk in your business. This will help you understand the right fire extinguisher to extinguish such fire in case of such emergencies.

These classes of fire which are primarily based on the fuel source. By understanding what each fire class means, you can identify which fire types are a safety hazard at your workplace. Once you are aware of such, you can buy the proper extinguisher for protecting your employees against them.


This type of fire involves ordinary combustible material as the fuel source. This may include material such as wood, paper, fabric, trash, rubber, cloths, and plastics. A good example of such fire is a campsite fire. This type of fire is best put out using a water fire extinguisher, foam or alternatively dry chemical powder.


These are fires that depend on flammable liquids and as the source fuel. Common liquid-based fuel sources include petroleum-based oils, paints, kerosene, and gasoline. These fires are common in industries that deal with lubricants, paints, fuels or industries with chemical reactions that produce a similar effect. Note that, you need to understand the specific sources of fire in such industries to know which extinguisher to use. For instance, a Foam extinguisher is good for flammable liquid fires. For such industries, the most appropriate fire extinguisher would be foam extinguishers and dry powder extinguishers.


This is fires involving flammable gases, the most common flammable gases involved here are propane, methane, butane and LPG gases. This is common in environments which store large amounts of these gases such as chemical plants and industrial warehouses. This can also be found in hospitals, schools, and homes. To extinguish class of fires Dry powder extinguisher and Co2 extinguishers are used.


This is a type of fire from energized electrical equipment. Electrical fires are often fueled by motors, appliances, and electronic transformers. Electrical fires are very common in the workplace and at home too.  To extinguish such fires, you need to cut off the electricity supply first and us an electricity nonconductive material. For this class of fire, the most appropriate fire extinguisher will be CO2 extinguisher and dry chemical powder extinguishers.


These fires use combustible metals as a fuel source. These metals include magnesium, zirconium, sodium, lithium or potassium. Note that there are also other metals with combustive properties you may encounter. This fires are common in laboratories. Moreover, be aware that combustible metals are used as part of the production and other industrial processes. Therefore, you need to be certain of what materials you are using for day-to-day operations. To extinguish this fire the best extinguisher will be a dry powder.


I believe that reading this article has helped you understand the different fire extinguishers and their uses. It is important to note that this article does not substitute for attendance of fire marshal classes.

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